Terrelle Pryor: Heart Of a Champion

Michael Cline@mclinedSenior Analyst IJuly 24, 2009

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 06:  Quarterback Terrelle Pryor #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on during the game against the Ohio Bobcats at Ohio Stadium on September 6, 2008 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Champions are built differently than the rest of us. 

Their drive, determination, and competitiveness are leaps and bounds above that of the average human being. So much so that at times we cannot relate to them, and neither they to us. 

However, these qualities that the champions possess are what enthralls us, their fans, into studying every aspect of their being. And though we might not understand them, we at least would like to try.

That's why we're glued to our TV sets, computers, and magazines. 

We watch them, write about them, talk about them, and even defend their honor to those who think that their talent is less than extraordinary.

There are many Champions among us, those who've proved themselves on and off the playing field, and there are Champions still waiting to emerge.

One of those in the making is 19 year old college sophomore Terrelle Pryor.

Entering his first full season as the starting quarterback for the Ohio State Buckeyes, Pryor is a young man on a mission.

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As a freshman, Pryor started the season thinking that he'd mostly be watching from the sidelines, learning the offense, and taking a few snaps here and there as needed. 

But after his predecessor, Todd Boeckman, was pulled early, Pryor's career started sooner than anticipated. 

In week four of the 2008 season, Coach Jim Tressel called on Pryor to make the start.

From that moment on we began to watch a kid from Jeanette, PA go from a high school standout, to one of college football's most talked about players.

Pryor won his first game as a starter, and added four more before he finally felt the taste of defeat.

The Buckeyes were hosting the Penn State Nittany Lions, in a battle that would eventually determine the Big Ten Champion.

The game was brilliant, but due to a late fumble by Pryor, the Buckeyes would fall 13-9.

After the game, a picture was snapped of Pryor sitting on the bench by himself, hands clasped, and his head down.

No one can know what was going through his mind at that moment, probably more than he spoke about.

Afterwards Pryor said, "When you turn the ball over twice, it's on you. I gave them the ball and put pressure on the defense again. I feel the loss is on me."

Those words, that game will prove to be the turning point in Terrelle Pryor's career. 

Years from now we'll look back and say to one another, "The Penn State loss is what made Pryor the quarterback he is today."

It's not in the good times that champions are made, it's in the trying times. 

When there's a dilemma, a struggle within oneself. It's at those pivotal moments in a person's life that really determines how far one will go.

Penn State was Terrelle Pryor's pivotal moment, and only he knows which path he took.

We can only speculate for now and watch as Pryor and the Buckeyes take the field yet again to try and make history.

Terrelle Pryor came out of high school with a lot of attention. Deemed by many to be the top quarterback of his recruiting class, it's his season to prove that statement.

It's his season to prove that he is the champion Ohio State was looking for, the one the fans were looking for, and the one he was looking for.

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